Short Convo With...The Old Spice Guy

When Isaiah Mustafa instructed ladies to compare him to their men in his iconic Old Spice commercial, he got more than just female attention. The former NFL wide receiver has landed an NBC TV deal and a role in Tyler Perry’s forthcoming adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Despite his newfound success, he says he’s just a humble guy from Southern California enjoying his burgeoning career. (Yes ladies, he has a girlfriend). VIBE briefly caught up with him and chatted about why memorable commercials are important, his forthcoming Tyler Perry movie role and how he got a gig via satellite. ⎯Starrene Rhett

VIBE: What does your talent deal with NBC mean for your career?

I can’t go into it too far but the best way to describe it is, NBC has an exclusive on me. We’ll work together in the near future, meaning, if an opportunity pops up with a show it could be me starring.

So…if there’s a role perfect for you on one of their TV shows, you get first dibs?

That’s exactly what it is!

The success of your Old Spice commercial got you on Oprah but how the heck did you get a movie role just by being on her show?

I wasn’t on the set of the show. I was skyping in. She was interviewing me for a small segment on me. From my angle I couldn’t see anything on the television screen. All I could see was her face so I didn’t know who was there [and] I didn’t know what was going on. She started talking about Tyler Perry and said, “You know, I know him,” so I said, “Introduce me,” and she said, “Why don’t you introduce yourself and the camera panned back and showed him and I was like, “Wow!”

The original play was a choreopoem where the male characters don’t even appear so how is Tyler Perry adapting his version to fit men in?

I don’t know how he’s going to put it together. The play is a collection of poems and short stories so it’s going to be interesting to see how he puts that together in movie form. I haven’t actually been to the set yet. My part hasn’t started filming so I’m interested in seeing how he does it. To tell you the truth, I don’t know which character I am. I haven’t gotten my schedule yet [because] the men characters aren’t really that important. The women carry the story.

You’re shooting another Old Spice commercial, how much will the new one deviate from the original?

I don’t know. It’s the creative team that was also in charge of the first one so I’m sure they’ll come up with something good depending on what they think about it. But it’s a lot of fun to work with them.

What’s your favorite commercial out right now?

Everybody loves [laughs]. It’s the song. It’s real catchy. It makes you start singing that goofy song like, “Let me go check my credit.” That’s probably my favorite. Most times if it’s a fun commercial or if it makes me laugh it will catch my attention.

Speaking of attention, you’ve done TV spots before but the Old Spice commercial blasted you off. Does it annoy you when people call you “The Old Spice” guy?

No. I don’t mind at all. It’s a very old brand and when people see me they’re like, “I didn’t even think about buying Old Spice until I saw that commercial.” And So I’m like, I did my job so I’m good. I’m happy to hear that people weren’t thinking about that product until they saw what I did and then hey starting thinking about it so that lets me know that I made an impact.

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Dr. Dre Released From Hospital, Will Receive 24-Hour Home Care

Dr. Dre was released from L.A. Cedars Sinai Medical Center on Friday (Jan. 15), nearly two weeks after he suffered a reported brain aneurysm. Ice T confirmed the news tweeting, “Just FaceTimed with @drdre. He just made it home. Safe and looking good.”

The 55-year-old music mogul will remain under 24-hour care for the next few weeks as medical professionals continue to monitor his progress. Doctors are still unclear on what caused the aneurysm.

Dre’s hospital release comes days after new details were revealed in his divorce from estranged wife, Nicole Young. According to court documents publicized this week, Nicole accuses Dre, birth name Andre Young, of putting a gun to her head in 2000 and 2001. She also details other alleged abuse incidents in 1995 (before they were married) and in 2016, when he allegedly punched her in the face and kicked down her door.

The Grammy winner has denied Nicole’s abuse claims.

Nicole and Dre tied the knot in 1996. The pair share two adult children, Truice and Truly. Nicole filed for divorce last summer.

In addition to demanding that Dre cover her legal fees, Nicole wants the court to take the abuse allegations into account when “awarding support and fees.” Dre has already agreed to pay $500,000 of Nicole’s legal bills and $2 million in temporary spousal support.

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Cardi B Lands Leading Role In Comedy ‘Assisted Living’

Cardi B is making her way back to the big screen. The Bronx native officially landed her first leading role in the upcoming Paramount comedy, Assisted Living.

According to Variety, Cardi will play a small time crook struggling to find a hiding place after her latest heist fails. Her character, “Amber,” disguises herself as an elderly woman and hides out at her grandmother's nursing home. The film is described as a “raucous comedy” similar to Mrs. Doubtfire and Sister Act.

Paramount acquired the rights to Assisted Living in 2019. The film’s script was penned by This Is Us writer, Kay Oyegun.

Cardi, 28, made her film debut in the 2019 celeb-heavy stripper flick, Hustlers. The “WAP” rapper appears to have hinted at her Assisted Living role in a recent interview with Billboard where she dished on filming scenes for Fast & Furious 9.

“After ‘Hustlers’ I filmed a little bit for 'Fast & Furious' so I felt like ‘I’m ready for this,’ I knew what to expect,” she explained. “But the characters were a little different so I was like ‘Oh wow, I’m going to need more acting classes.’ I’m planning on doing a movie this year and I’m going to be the lead role so I’m like ‘I need to execute this flawlessly.’”

Besides film, Cardi was a judge on the Netflix completion show, Rhythm & Flow, and landed her own Facebook Watch series, Cardi Tries.

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Wendy Williams Reveals She Was Date Raped By ‘80s R&B Singer

Wendy Williams revealed that she was date raped by  ‘80s R&B singer, Sherrick, early in her radio career. The talk show host shared the story with reporters while promoting her Lifetime biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

“He mesmerized me with his twinkling eyes,” she recalled. “He flipped the interview around to where he was interviewing me — I was just gaga over this man and he asked me to go to an album release party with him that night.

“Before the party, I was date raped by him,” said Williams.

Sherrick, born Lamotte Smith, was a member of the group Kagny, whose song is featured on The Last Dragon soundtrack. He signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1987 and scored a marginal hit with the single “Just Call” off his debut self-titled album. Sherrick struggled with sobriety but declared himself “drug-free” before dying of unknown causes in 1999.

Williams says that she was raped in Sherrick’s Washington D.C. hotel room and it, unfortunately, wasn’t her first time being sexually assaulted. The New Jersey native had been date raped in college. “Those types of things happen to girls all the time and they’ve been happening a lot, to a lot of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and their great-great-grandmothers too.”

From the sounds of it, Sherrick's widow doesn't exactly believe Williams' story. She not only questioned Williams' account but wondered why she waited so long to go public, and why she didn't call police at the time of the incident.

“As I will never minimize or dismiss the horrid actions of sexual assault, I am saddened that Ms. Williams feels the need to publicly make these allegations when the man she is accusing is no longer on this earth to defend himself,” Lynne Conner Smith said in a statement to Page Six.  “Our family does not know Ms. Williams and are not aware of any relationship or encounter they may have had.”

The sexual assault will be chronicled in the film, as well as other details from Williams' life -- like her rise to talk show fame, her battle with drug addiction, and marriage to ex-husband Kevin Hunter.

Wendy Williams: The Movie premieres on Lifetime on Jan. 30.

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